I'll always remember my first Mother's Day. For some reason I had idyllic notions of what it would be like and for some reason those notions didn't pan out.
It might have to do with the fact that Taylor was not more than a few weeks old and just starting into his colicky phase. I spent most of Mother's Day in some other room away from everyone else both at church and at the family gathering either nursing or trying to comfort a crying baby. It was lonely, frustrating and wasn't anything like the idyllic Hallmark notions of Mother's Day.
It was probably an initiation into motherhood in general, much of it doesn't go as expected.
Fast Forward 17 years.
This mother's day was much better! First of all I learned to let go of the expectations and just enjoy what it is. I got to sleep through the night, nice.
Jeff got up and made a great breakfast before 9:00 church. That's amazing in and of itself.
There were presents and a card signed by the children with acknowledgements of things I've done to help them recently in their life. A nice card from Jeff and a corsage. That in and of itself would've been the best celebration.
I got to substitute teach Relief Society on Sunday. I enjoy it because I don't get to do it often :)
Then after church we went over to Steve and Tahna's to celebrate with Jeff's family.
Here is the newest member of the family. Zander Pederson, Jenise and Shawn's new baby, and the oldest mother in the family. Jeff's grandmother Smeltzer!
Here's Jeff with his beautiful mama and Zander...
Ashley getting to hold Zander.
Jeff took this picture and someone commented that they looked like teenage parents instead of cousins.
They said "Eeeewwwww"
Here's Zander's real mom and dad, glad for all the willing baby holders.
We also got a visit from JJ...via Skype
Everyone got to say hi to him...
Here is JJ showing us his cut on his forehead...he got this while trying to do pull-ups on an over the door pull-up bar.
Ashley bonding with Violet.
Jared and Vanessa are only a month away from their wedding.
Steve did a nice Mother's Day thought and video and passed out chocolate (always a favorite)
When I got home I got these from my neighbor!
It was a great Mother's Day!
Later on in the week I got to go to Vanessa's Bridal Shower. They did a great job with decorations, yummy food (even dinner) and lots prizes for game winners. I was happy to be able to celebrate with everyone. We are excited for Vanessa and Jared.
This week I've been subbing in Ashley's classroom while her teacher goes to New York to watch her son graduate from college. It's been a busy, tiring and fun week.
On Friday I got to be there to do a State Food Day. They are doing State projects right now and they were invited to bring a food item that went with their state.
I loved the boy that brought Buffalo Wings for Montana and the funniest I thought was the green jello that represented Utah. The girl that brought it said it was everyone's favorite food in Utah. :)
Ashley had Washington State. Since apples are big there we did mini-apple pies. They actually turned out not bad. I used cake mix with butter for the crust and then put in a teaspoon or so of pie filling and then sprinkled the extra cake mix mixture on top to make a crumb topping. They were mini-muffin size so everyone could have one and it worked out perfect.
The only bad thing with starting out the day with a party was the rest of the day the students were in party/fun mode and it was hard to keep them focused!
Right after school I helped get the boys packed up and ready for the Father's and Son's campout at Lake Perris. They brought the jet skis, had a outdoor movie night and Jeff made breakfast in the morning. No camera though so no pictures, just memories.
As they were leaving Ashley and I left to go visit Angela and Robert. We had talked about going to the Strawberry festival and since it happened to fall on the same weekend as Father and Son's just Ashley and I decided to go up to visit.
It was nice coming in on Friday and just being able to catch up with Angela and Robert. Ian was in bed and Ashley only lasted so long so we could just chat. It was poignant reflecting on the last year with Robert and his treatments and though it's been rough they both expressed the feeling that they were supported through it all both spiritually and temporally by people that were willing to serve and help them. Our chatting could only last so long before Angela realized how little sleep they would be getting. Ian likes to wake up between 5 and 6 no matter what day it is! So off to bed. Sure enough he was up bright and early.
It was fun to hang out with Ian again. He is talking more now and as soon as Ashley woke up and came out of the room he showed her his breakfast "nana" (banana) and patted the couch and told Ashley to "it" (sit) so she could watch as show with him.
Robert cooked us a great breakfast that morning. He said it had been about a year since he had cooked. I think he did a great job!
Angela and Robert haven't been to the Strawberry festival before so since they were hosting us they got to check it out.
It was sunny but not too hot. We strolled around and checked out all the strawberry offerings and festival type entertainment.
I thought I'd tried strawberries until I took a sample as we walked in. It was the ripest, sweetest strawberry I've ever had. And it was even chilled even though we were outside. OK there is a big difference in vine ripened strawberries straight from the field compared to the ones I normally get in the store.
We went to the family area where there was a puppet show going on. It was the first time that Ian had seen a puppet show. He liked it for awhile and seems to be interested in the characters. Standing in the back I thought the puppeteer's voice was whiny but the kids seemed to be enjoying it.
Eventually Ian said "out" and we were on to the next thing.
In the vendor booths we found lots of different crafts, toys, clothes, jewelry and fun stuff. Some ideas were better than others. One miss was a whole booth dedicated to selling toilet bling. Someone decided to decorate and bling out the bolt covers for the toiled and sell them. To me it just called attention to the toilet. Ha ha.
One of the hits was this guy selling block sets that look like castles. Ian loved playing with them.
Ian didn't want to leave the blocks. He would get upset any time Angela mentioned it, until she told him that Ashley was hungry and wanted to eat. (she did) Then he quietly left the blocks and was fine.
Ian didn't seem to be scared of the giant strawberry girl.
For lunch Ashley and I had Teriyaki chicken and fries and the best strawberry smoothie. Angela and Robert had tacos with strawberry salsa and a Strawberry pizza. I tried some pizza, it was like strawberry shortcake. Next time we want to try the strawberry nachos.
We all lasted until about 1 and then we headed back to Angela's house. I picked up some strawberries for us on our way out. Angela didn't buy any because she said she can buy them any time in the little roadside stands. I guess I'll be buying strawberries when I go up to visit Angela.
While Robert and Ian napped Ashley and I went to meet an LPA friend who lived close by. Chloe is a girl that Ashley met in years past at LPA. These two girls are going to camp this year together. They are both excited.
We ended up bringing home a few things from the festival. The furry thing is my new sheepskin duster. We'll see if it does a better job than a regular one.
Before we came home we stopped by Rocket Fizz and got some taffy and crazy soda and....we had to check out the fish tank that we saw on "Tanked" last week. It was fun watching the episode and then seeing the tank.
Yesterday for mutual it was a combined activity and the youth all played ultimate Frisbee and Capture the flag at the park across the street. They had a good turn out and the kids had fun.
And one last thing. Jeff got a thank you note at church from one of the boys.
It says "Dear Brother Beaulieu, thank you for taking good care of our ward." He had a picture of himself shaking Jeff's hand and Jeff giving him candy.
Every week he watches him to see if he's good in church to see if he deserves and candy. Ha ha.